Oracle Cloud ERP to add direct finance and logistics services

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Oracle Cloud ERP customers will soon be able to integrate banking and logistics services into the platform for B2B transactions.

The new Oracle B2B Commerce Network aims to reduce the cost and complexity of conducting B2B business between Oracle Cloud customers. The service was unveiled at this week’s Oracle CloudWorld 2022 conference.

The initial rollout of Oracle B2B Commerce will include integrations with JPMorgan Payments for finance and FedEx for logistics, according to Oracle.

With this new service offering, enterprise buyers and sellers will be able to digitize and automate end-to-end transactional processes, said Natalia Rachelson, group vice president of outbound product management for cloud applications at Oracle.

“It’s about simplifying and reducing the cost of B2B transactions, providing a better experience for employees and customers, and enabling service providers to offer new services to their customers,” Rachelson said.

For example, if a hospital needs to purchase expensive equipment like an MRI machine, they can place an order with a vendor through their Oracle Cloud ERP system, and the vendor also using Oracle Cloud ERP can arrange delivery logistics through FedEx, they have said.

If they need funding to purchase the equipment, the hospital can click the JPMorgan button in Oracle Cloud ERP and create a funding request.

Access to FedEx provides the supplier with real-time quotes, routing options and transit information, while the buyer has a streamlined finance approval and payment process, according to Rachelson.

JPMorgan and FedEx will be the first finance and logistics providers available in B2B commerce, with more to come, she said.

Although no release date has been specified, Oracle B2B Commerce will be available in an upcoming upgrade for all 40,0000 Oracle Cloud customers as standard functionality in Oracle Cloud ERP at no additional cost.

The integration of services in the ERP is in fashion

Oracle B2B Commerce is another example of the trend to integrate services such as banking into ERP systems, along with SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity, Sage Digital Network and Oracle NetSuite’s integration with HSBC, according to Predrag Jakovljevic, senior industry analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers.

“Doing banking from ERP… will reduce the cost of custom integrations and likely free up some accounts payable resources,” Jakovljevic said.

According to Jon Reed, co-founder of Diginomica, an enterprise application industry analytics site, the trend revolves around breaking down barriers between ERP systems and enterprise transactional and financial systems. Integrations allow businesses to rethink ERP as more than just back-office systems and help build a better case for moving to the cloud.

“The cloud can save costs on things like instance consolidation, but cloud infrastructure costs don’t come cheap,” he said. “But you can justify that with all these business services that give you a different kind of business case.”

[Cloud] becomes a much more compelling value proposition when your ERP system helps you conduct this type of business without complex integration.
Jon ReedCo-founder, Diginomica

Overall, the B2B Commerce offering is a positive development for customers and indicates the value of cloud ERP, Reed said.

“It becomes a much more compelling value proposition when your ERP system helps you do this type of business without complex integration,” he said.

It’s possible to build these kinds of integrations with on-premises ERP systems, Reed said, but it’s much more laborious and expensive, and companies must maintain the integrations after they’re built.

However, Reed warns that while the trend of integrating services into ERPs like Oracle B2B Commerce holds promise for customers, it is still in its infancy.

“B2B Commerce was just announced, and they’re not serving thousands of customers yet,” he said. “So those are the first steps, and we’ll have to see what adoption looks like.”

Jim O’Donnell is a senior writer covering ERP and other enterprise applications for TechTarget Editorial.

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